A tweet by Ellen DeGeneres is facing criticism, as some have deemed a photoshopped picture of the comedienne and sprinter Usain Bolt racist.
After Usain Bolt won his third consecutive gold medal in the 100m dash on Sunday, DeGeneres tweeted a photo of her riding on the Jamaican’s back during the race with the caption, “This is how I’m running errands from now on.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 15, 2016
DeGeneres’ tweet received has since received 25,000 retweets and 61,000 favorites — including a retweet from Bolt himself.
But some Twitter users found DeGeneres’ tweet racist and insensitive.
@TheEllenShow so the first thing that pops in your head when looking at this pic is "oh let me jump onto his back like he's a common mule"?
— Jon Snow-ratio (@Jhoratio) August 15, 2016
imagine a white-man Photoshop himself riding Elaine Thompson
— Life of Starry (@StarryToronto) August 16, 2016
Saw the Ellen/Bolt meme... yikes.
— Jeremy Cushman (@JeremyCushman) August 16, 2016
As often happens on Twitter, the backlash to the backlash was quick to follow
Wait. People are really outraged by that Ellen DeGeneres and Usain Bolt pic? I think it's funny. Y'all are too sensitive.
— Charles Broccoli (@hotterthanjuly) August 16, 2016
I'm still looking for the offensive part of the Ellen/Usain Bolt situation. Can someone please explain... ?
— Carlton Morton (@MrCouture) August 16, 2016
DeGeneres herself responded to the controversy on Tuesday, tweeting that she is “highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.”
I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 16, 2016
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.